King of Nowhere #1
Drunken lowlife Denis awakens on the outskirts of a mysterious village called Nowhere, home to a friendly populace of deformed, mutated, just-left-of-normal citizens-and he has no memory of how he got there. But just when Denis starts to regain his memories, his past catches up to him… literally. What at first seems like merely a bad trip quickly heightens into a drama of mistaken identities, small-town conspiracy, and high-stakes fantasy fulfillment.
In its first issue, King of Nowhere drops its everyman protagonist Denis into a desert town called Nowhere inhabited by abnormal occupants. (Everyman here is shorthand for mediocre mid-30s white man, as it perhaps is all too often.) W. Maxwell Prince’s tale doesn’t feel derivative but still carries a sense of déjà vu. King of Nowhere feels slightly like the early 2000’s SciFi Channel show Eureka but with the Morlocks from Marvel and a darker tone. That said, it lacks the social commentary of X-Men. While in some ways his plot and setting feel a touch too familiar, Prince’s writing is still a pleasurable and darkly funny read. Billed as a mystery thriller, King of Nowhere #1 isn’t a constant slow trickle of suspense, but its pace isn’t pulse-pounding either. Still, it’s got intrigue and character aplenty.
The inks and colors from Tyler and Hilary Jenkins respectively gel perfectly not only with one another but with the tone of the setting and narrative at hand. No moment on its own feels particularly jaw-dropping, but the art oozes atmosphere in a way that almost makes up for it.
There is something visibly uncomfortable in Tyler Jenkins’ scratchy, bleeding inks. Similarly, Hilary Jenkins’ watercolors sometimes move jarringly between softly illuminated landscapes and punchy pinks and oranges.
Panels constantly flow into one another, making time and place feel fluid. Together, all of these artistic elements further the sense of the dreamlike, alien, and unreal.
The cover of the first issue matches the tone of the interior art to a T, while giving away remarkably little in terms of plot.
King of Nowhere #1 is a promising beginning to a darkly funny, mysterious, and pleasantly off-kilter miniseries.
King of Nowhere #1: The Road to Nowhere (Spoiler-Free Early Review)
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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